The Walt Disney Company is one of the world’s best-known entertainment brands and is responsible for some of the best-loved children’s stories of all time. For this reason, the much-hyped concept of the metaverse – immersive, experiential online environments ripe with potential for magic and storytelling – is a perfect fit for its business strategy.
Disney’s IP includes Marvel, Star Wars, its vast library of animated movies going back over 60 years, and beloved children’s brands such as Disney Princesses and Disney Villains. It stands to reason that any sort of shared, online digital universe focusing on these worlds and characters would most likely be a huge money earner for “the house of mouse”. Although specific details of this are currently few and far between, it would seem a fairly safe bet that it is cooking something up along these lines!
As well as movies, TV shows, and cartoons, the legendary entertainment brand is, of course, famous for its resorts and theme parks. This ability to bring fantasy to life in the real world also ties in neatly with the metaverse, which many believe will focus on blending the real with the virtual. For these reasons, Disney is probably one of the companies that are best placed to capitalize on the opportunities offered by connected, immersive, and persistent virtual worlds. So here’s an overview of some of the ways we know or expect that it will jump on this exciting new trend.
Getting the team together
To build metaverse opportunities, you need people in place. Disney has shown it is working on this with the appointment of its first “metaverse executive”, Mike White, to start building the metaverse strategy. Mike’s title is SVP of next-generation storytelling and consumer experiences, and it’s thought he will focus on understanding the potential of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and other metaverse-aligned technologies. What these technologies offer Disney and other entertainment and media conglomerates is a whole new range of tools for building new audience experiences. Disney has traditionally always been forward-looking and was quick to jump the arrival of previous game-changing breakthroughs such as the arrival of television, computer-generated animation, video games, and the internet, so there’s no reason it will treat the arrival of the age of VR and the metaverse any differently.